David Baddiel opens up on his daughter's eating disorder in social media documentary
David Baddiel has opened up for the first time about his daughter's "painful" battle with anorexia.
The 57-year-old comedian has spoken publicly for the first time about his now 20-year-old's eating disorder she suffered in her teens in new BBC2 documentary David Baddiel: Social Media, Anger And Us.
Baddiel said: "This was Dolly’s thing, not mine, and it was so dangerous while it was going on that I thought, ‘I cannot disturb this in any way that might be counterproductive to her getting better’.”
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Dolly revealed: “In 2017, when I was 15, I was very, very sick for about three years with anorexia...
"There was a multitude of things that culminated in it happening. But once I was in it, I think social media made it much more difficult for me to recover.”
She explained: "Anorexia and eating disorders in general are very competitive illnesses.
"Once I’d found this recovery community on Instagram, that identity of the anorexic was really easy to latch on to.
“It was an appealing identity because I really didn’t like who I was, which I think is quite common amongst teenagers.”
Baddiel told his daughter: “I was pained. I could tell it was causing you pain.”
The writer and TV presenter analysed the negative effects of social media on mental wellbeing in the new documentary.
He said: “Dolly would definitely have been better off without it.”
The Three Lions singer admits to being addicted to social media platform Twitter himself.
He said: “I wake up and reach for my phone and I’m looking through emails but I’m also looking at Twitter. Addiction that puts you at risk of extreme hatred is a weird thing to feel you’re addicted to.”
I’m off to New York to do @LateNightSeth. Meanwhile, my documentary about social media is out tonight on BBC2 at 9pm. Taking its advice I will be off socials for a bit. My account here will be managed by some nice people in the meantime. See you soon! pic.twitter.com/lBczrYIND2
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) December 13, 2021
In the programme Baddiel has his brain scanned by whilst reading tweets about himself.
The scans show the positive tweets stimulated the reward centre of the brain, giving Baddiel a “pleasure fix”.
But reading negative tweets sparked a "fight or flight" reaction in the brain, leaving him with pent up aggression.
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Baddiel explained: “The brain perceives the negative tweet as a threat. I want to fight — but you can’t, so you deflect that into something else.”
Watch: Facebook leads users to anorexia content says whistle-blower